Melvin Brecher was born in Brooklyn, NY and studied mathematics at Syracuse University before he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1942. After the end of World War II, he returned to his studies, completing a B. Arch. at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design in 1950. Brecher began his career in the office of Constantin A. Pertzoff as a designer and draftsman. He then worked as a draftsman for Bellante & Clauss in Philadelphia; his future partner Warren Cunningham was in the office in the same period. In 1953, Brecher formed a partnership with Harvard classmate Robert Geddes, who had come to Philadelphia as one of the first faculty members recruited in 1950 by new dean G. Holmes Perkins in his remaking of architectural education at the University of Pennsylvania. Geddes & Brecher invited another Harvard alumnus, George W. Qualls, (also another member of Perkins's new faculty) to join them in 1956. Cunningham was made a partner in Geddes, Brecher, Qualls & Cunningham in 1960. Brecher has been the management partner for many of the firm's projects.
Brecher joined the national AIA in 1957; he was made a fellow of the same organization after 1970, and has served on its national board. He was also a director of the Philadelphia Chapter of the AIA in 1966, and has served as a director and as treasurer of Philadelphia's Foundation for Architecture.
Emily T. Cooperman.
Clubs and Membership Organizations
- American Institute of Architects (AIA)
- Philadelphia Chapter, AIA
- Carpenters' Company of Philadelphia
- Harvard University
- Syracuse University
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